White Dot is an organisation/movement/school of thought that advocates freedom from television. I became aware of this group through a news item on the BBC website, which was, predictably, couched in condescending barbs. Apparently, some copywriter at the BBC simply couldn't believe that people could get by without a drug-like dependence on the idiot box.

White Dot have several compelling arguments for the abolition of television. They argue that wastes years of people's lives, damages children's education, and impairs the mental and social capabilities of adults. People are apathetic enough to spend several hours a day hypnotised by television, foregoing real interaction with a pre-packaged imitation. Television programming caters to the agenda of advertisers and government, telling you what to think (or more often encouraging you not to think). The majority of households in this country are paying for the privelige of being lied to and having their intelligence insulted. (Don't even get me started on the TV License...) At least with smoking, you can have a conversation at the same time!

It's clear to casual observer that television is undergoing a terminal decline. The children of the last ten years spend more time using a computer and actually communicating with other people than sat docile in front of the TV. Advertising revenue will eventually dry up, and similar efforts to those that are currently aimed at breaking the monopoly of BT will be waged against the BBC.

In the aftermath, thousands of meeja lackeys will be retrained to contribute something of worth to society. I'll be too busy mucking around with E2 to notice any of this, of course.

In the dark days before teletext, the BBC post-shutdown was not a haven of bad computer graphics and DIY store Jazz. Once the night's TV had ended, the national anthem would be played (this still happens on BBC2, occasionally), then the screen would go totally blank except for a white dot in the middle, and an incredibly annoying constant tone. This was apparently intended to wake up armchair sleepers and make them turn the TV off, which may otherwise overheat. The dot would remain in place until the breakfast news.

The white dot symbolised the end of television, at least for that night. This is probably why the above organisation have adopted the name. As for the organisation itself, I'd suggest that if you want freedom from TV, don't buy one, and let other people make their own choice.
Staring at the TV, about 3AM
Rik: Anyway, what does that white dot mean?
Neil: It means something really heavy. It means... there's no more telly. It's time to go to bed.
-- The Young Ones

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